As actors, we all have the same dream: to arrive in Los Angeles or New York, to be recognized quickly, and to get a contract working with a megastar! If you are one of those performers, the likelihood is that you are on set somewhere (even during the epidemic) and are not reading this post. However, for the rest of us, reality is slightly different.
Years of constant hard effort are required to build a great acting career. We must all nourish, protect, and develop our abilities and relationships in order for everything to come together properly and deliver us the satisfaction, fulfillment, and recognition we crave. Throughout it all, we must fall in love with the process rather than the end result. This implies we must enjoy the trip and not become too fixated on the outcome—but always maintain the hope that your moment may arrive in a big dramatic Hollywood fashion one day.
To aid this process, each actor must establish several key components that, when fully implemented, will provide forward momentum as they pursue their passions.
Have a well-defined strategy for approaching the industry
You are your own product as a performer. There is only one of you, and no one else can perform your functions in the manner in which you perform them. There are people in the sector that are looking for you right now, exactly as you are. Therefore, you have a responsibility, yes, a responsibility, to reach out to such individuals and inform them that you exist and are available for hire.
This is why building a target database of writers, directors, executives, specialists, and fellow actors who will purchase your offering is a critical first step toward establishing a successful acting career. Maintain a spreadsheet with your target audience, market to them, and follow-up. Please keep in mind that by target, we do not mean stalk them in person or online. That is, cultivate true relationships founded on authenticity and mutual respect.
You may believe that you are capable of performing any function and hence do not wish to limit yourself excessively, but as the saying goes, “when you trust everyone, you trust nobody.” Believe in the power of focused marketing and realize that, in the long run, this technique will open more doors for you than “throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks.”
Collaborate with the appropriate professionals
Human beings are social creatures, and Hollywood thrives on reputation and word of mouth. This means that we are automatically drawn to the most recognizable and well-known names—whether they be acting instructors, photographers, dialect coaches, or agents. However, here’s the caveat: just because something is number one or most popular does not necessarily indicate it’s suitable for you.
You may be an actor who is resistant to negative reinforcement, in which case you may require a greater spiritual connection with those with whom you work. You may be someone who works better in private coaching than in-class coaching, or you may prefer to learn through performance onstage. You may be an analytical thinker in search of a comprehensive technique-based program. Your requirements are distinct from those of your fellow performer. Actors have a responsibility to show up willing to play and be stretched and transformed in the service of their profession, but they also have to find the people who can facilitate all of this in a safe, supportive, and creative atmosphere that allows for rapid learning, creation, and growth.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to connect with people that bring out your greatest qualities and then encourage you to go even higher.
3. Become comfortable with the phrase “Yes, I am an actor.”
We are all familiar with the cliché “everyone is an actor in Los Angeles.” Your buddies are clamoring to know if you’ve landed the part. “So, are you still doing the acting thing?” your family inquires. Most likely, you won’t have an adequate response that satisfies them, and the next time someone asks if you’re an actor, you either avoid the subject or begin not telling people you’re an actor, which sounds like an excellent method to shelter yourself from the world and its disappointments.
However, the unpleasant truth is that if you do this long enough, you will begin to conceal it from yourself as well. This energy of concealment will manifest as diminished self-confidence, diminished self-worth, and increased self-doubt—driving you further away from your goals and preventing you from being present in your work or being passionate about your pursuit. Therefore, do yourself a favor and declare loudly and proudly each morning, “Yes, I am an actor!” Even if it is in front of a mirror. Contact us for additional help with your acting career.